Toyota Goodness, Less a Roof
The Toyota Solara
is a 2-door coupe or convertible based on Toyota's much desired Camry sedan
. It utilizes the same honey-smooth drivetrain and supple suspension as Toyota's midsize best seller, which is a tremendously strong departure point for the lengthier midsize soft-top.
|The Solara is a convertible that truly can seat two adults in the rear without requiring them to pretzelize their limbs or get to know each other intimately. (Photo: Rob Rothwell, Canadian Auto Press)|
Yep, it came as a surprise to me as well but the 2-door Solara is 84 mm (3.3 in) longer than the roomy 4-door Camry - go figure. The subtle elongation translates into a convertible that truly can seat two adults in the rear without requiring them to pretzelize their limbs or get to know each other intimately. However, roof-up rear seat entry requires fairly fluid mobility, which can be especially challenging for those big, tall or otherwise significantly sized.
In reality most convertible owners don't regularly fill their rear seats, so ingress, egress and rear seat comfort may be a moot point to many purchasers. Likely to be of greater import is the vehicle's reliability, build quality and resale value. Toyota aces all three of these categories, which isn't something that can be said about all convertibles, regardless of cost. These attributes make the Solara the common-sense choice for purchasers seeking a well-behaved, well-refined
|Its curvaceous bodywork and wrap-around head and taillights remain fresh looking and appealing to the eye. (Photo: Rob Rothwell, Canadian Auto Press)|
4-seat convertible. Call it the vanilla milkshake in a world of provocative flavours; you know what you're getting and its good to the last slurp.
The Solara convertible emerged in 1999, following the complete redesign of the Camry. The second (and current) generation Solara convertible met the motoring public in 2004 and has changed very little since. Its curvaceous bodywork and wrap-around head and taillights remain fresh looking and appealing to the eye. Like most soft-top convertibles, the Solara's sleekness is marred when its roof is in place, resulting in poor rearward visibility for the driver. Otherwise the vehicle's proportioning and use of rounded surfaces project a more elegant rather than aggressive image.